I didn’t write to you last week because Mark and I got on a plane early Friday morning to visit my in-laws in Florida and to play “retired” with them for a few days. For the past 6 years, Tracy and David have put their snowbird wings on and flown to Sebring, Florida to their lively retirement community residence for the winter. And each year when we visit, we happily and willingly adapt to their daily activities to live a few days in the life of a retiree.
This year, our weekend included 36 holes of golf, lounging by the pool with a good book, visiting with friendly neighbors and power shopping with Tracy (who by the way has the deals down to a science to get the most bang out of my US retirement dollars). Evenings consisted of a nice dinner (always aiming for the early-bird special) followed by an hour or two of euchre before going to bed at ~9:30pm. Glorious.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Republicans failed to pass a bill through US Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) while I was in the States. Despite the drastic headlines, the bill's failure led to a small risk-off trade in markets as investors began to question the administration’s ability to deliver on their ambitious agenda of tax cuts, business-friendly policies and fiscal spending.
This event serves as a symbolic political indicator, as discord between a Republican White House and Republican leadership may make passing any significant legislation more difficult. While the odds of tax reform failure have arguably increased, we are still budgeting for a partial delivery of fiscal stimulus. Many Congress members are glad to see healthcare out of the way (regardless of the reason), so that tax reform – the most important thing for markets – can now be actively pursued. It’s also important to remember that global market strength is linked to improving economic data, wage growth and increasing consumer confidence and spending – not just politics or Trump tweets.
Back to living the retirement dream, while it was a short visit, it’s just the break we needed to remind us why we work so hard each day. And while I like to say that everyone defines their wealth, risk and retirement differently, regardless of how you may define your retirement, from a planning perspective, it isn’t what it used to be anymore…
As a retiree today, you can expect to live much longer than previous generations – on average another 15-20 years after the traditional retirement age of 65. That’s a whole new life stage that’s just beginning at age 65 – and one that requires a whole new approach to planning your retirement finances and lifestyle – in other words, GICs, low yielding fixed income investments and a “short term” investment horizon just aren’t going to make the cut anymore. Retirees today face different economic challenges, including lower interest rates on guaranteed investments, market volatility, continued high taxes and the uncertainty of government benefits. To get you thinking in the right direction, I’ve put together the attached article that takes you through seven key questions you need to ask about your retirement. Click here to read more. While you’re at it, you might like to find out your replacement ratio for retirement with the Globe & Mail’s Retirement Readiness Calculator. Calculate away here.
If you are like Dave & Tracy and are already living the retirement dream, we’ve also put together a great Wealth Management report entitled ‘Retiring in Canada’ which includes strategies and solutions for those already in or approaching retirement. If you would like a copy of the 38 page report, just say the word and I will send it to you.
With so much going on and information coming at us from every angle, it's sometimes hard to keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening. In an effort to keep you in-the-know and provide you with some conversation nuggets for the weekend, I've compiled the following hit list to fill your conversation pipeline.
Now you are in-the-know with Word on the Street.
Enjoy the weekend,
Investment & Wealth Advisor